WN Eyes Other 'Aircraft Types'

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Old Aug 13, 19, 6:59 pm
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WN Eyes Other 'Aircraft Types'

Seattle Times / Dominic Gates

The airline’s management has proposed new language in the contract with its flight-attendants union that would grant it the flexibility “to fly more narrowbody aircraft types.”

Southwest management told the union, TWU Local 556, in a proposal this month that the ability to operate aircraft other than the 737 “would give us the flexibility … to better compete and grow.”

“We are flying to more destinations that vary in distance, size and seasonality,” the company’s proposal states. “This change would allow us to fly aircraft types that are better suited for some of the markets we serve.”
Spokeswoman Beth Harbin said, “Southwest has no current plans to pursue or introduce a new fleet type.”

This screams Hawaii inter-island.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 12:23 am
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Why is this fleet language in the FA contract at all? I understand the need for negotiated pay rates for pilots but had assumed FA pay was platform agnostic.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by Exiled in Express View Post
Why is this fleet language in the FA contract at all? I understand the need for negotiated pay rates for pilots but had assumed FA pay was platform agnostic.
They have to be trained for new aircraft just like pilots. They would want negotiated rates for the training required and everything that would come with working more than one type of plane.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
This screams Hawaii inter-island.
Um, this screams we have no 737MAXes, don't know if we'll ever get to fly them, and realize that being tied to a single aircraft type has bitten us severely in the rump.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:10 am
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It's also a shot across Boeing's bow.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:53 am
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Well, WN has been focusing on larger aircraft (737-800/MAX 8), but the reality is that not all flights in all markets support that size of aircraft. It might do WN well to bring in the A220 to have some additional flexibility, fuel efficiency, and support somewhat smaller markets. The range of the A220 is excellent, so it would support longer, thinner routes.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
Well, WN has been focusing on larger aircraft (737-800/MAX 8), but the reality is that not all flights in all markets support that size of aircraft. It might do WN well to bring in the A220 to have some additional flexibility, fuel efficiency, and support somewhat smaller markets. The range of the A220 is excellent, so it would support longer, thinner routes.
This was my thought: it screams some type of A220/E175 type option.

There could actually a *lot* of future growth for WN just inside North America by adding one smaller type to the fleet.

Then again, it could just be a subtle message to Boeing more than any kind of actual plan.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
The Southwest / Boeing relationship is unbreakable.
Whoops!
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Old Aug 14, 19, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
Whoops!
Right. Get back to me when it actually happens.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 6:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
Whoops!
Same poster at one point said Hawaii would never happen. Gotta love the guesswork on this forum.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by smmrfld View Post

Same poster at one point said Hawaii would never happen. Gotta love the guesswork on this forum.
I don't believe I ever said that, but I'll point out the obvious: when it comes to predicting the future, everyone here is doing guesswork.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
This was my thought: it screams some type of A220/E175 type option.
My first thought too - there are seasonal locales (MHT or PWM in the dead of winter come to mind, for example; possibly a southern locale in the dead of summer too) where a regional jet would probably serve the route quite well.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by lo2e View Post
My first thought too - there are seasonal locales (MHT or PWM in the dead of winter come to mind, for example; possibly a southern locale in the dead of summer too) where a regional jet would probably serve the route quite well.
Makes sense to me. It’d be similar in some ways to JetBlue’s use of the A320 and E175. I’m not sure how 2 airplane types would work with the non-hub and spoke model of WN but someone could probably figure out how to get the schedules to work. I think a smaller plane could be a way to open up new markets since at this point I think WN pretty much serves almost all the (continental US) airports that can support 737 traffic.

My my personal vote would be for the A220 - have only seen pictures of DL’s version (and hopefully will get to ride it next month!) but it seems to provide a good mainline plane experience even with the smaller capacity (which hopefully would help keep WN with an all main line plane fleet). All hypothetically speaking of course.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 7:32 am
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Originally Posted by ryw View Post


Makes sense to me. It’d be similar in some ways to JetBlue’s use of the A320 and E175. I’m not sure how 2 airplane types would work with the non-hub and spoke model of WN but someone could probably figure out how to get the schedules to work. I think a smaller plane could be a way to open up new markets since at this point I think WN pretty much serves almost all the (continental US) airports that can support 737 traffic.

My my personal vote would be for the A220 - have only seen pictures of DL’s version (and hopefully will get to ride it next month!) but it seems to provide a good mainline plane experience even with the smaller capacity (which hopefully would help keep WN with an all main line plane fleet). All hypothetically speaking of course.
I would think that the A220-100 would be able to serve a number of regional routes now. And, long-term, I suspect there's a pretty easy learning curve to adding the A220-300 later on, which is a bit closer to competing with the 737 on capacity. If nothing else, that threat in the back pocket would be useful in negotiations with Boeing.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 12:23 pm
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The A220 isn't a regional jet. The 300 would have pretty much the same capacity as the 737-700.
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